The match between Afghanistan and Australia has two teams with contrasting styles and histories.
Afghanistan is a rising force in cricket, having qualified for their second consecutive World Cup despite facing many challenges and hardships in their country. Australia is a powerhouse of the game, having won the trophy five times and being the defending champions. Both teams have talented players who can turn the game in their favour, but who will emerge victorious on the big day?
Why the Aussies will get up
The odds are clearly in favour of the Aussies, so let’s look at what’s happening with them.
- Australia has a more experienced and balanced team, especially with Glenn Maxwell coming back after a concussion.
- Australia has a strong record against Afghanistan, having won all four of their previous encounters in ODIs. The last time they met, in 2019, Australia won by seven wickets with 91 balls remaining.
- Afghanistan have had a few good games, but they may find it hard to adapt to the Aussies style of play.
Australia have a more skilled and versatile team, a dominant history, and a favourable lead up to the game. Unless Afghanistan pulls off a major upset, the Aussies will get up and secure their place in the next round.
Who to watch: Glenn Maxwell
Jersey #: 32
The explosive allrounder, coming back from concussion rest, is one of the most dangerous players in world cricket. He can bat anywhere in the order, bowl handy off-spin and field brilliantly in any position. He has scored over 3000 runs and taken 50 wickets in ODIs, and he was the Player of the Series in the 2015 World Cup. He has also played in the IPL, BBL and other T20 leagues around the world. He is a match-winner who can turn the game in a matter of overs with his power and innovation.
Why Afghanistan could pull off a win
Afghanistan have been a surprise package of the World Cup 2023. They’ve won their last three consecutive matches against former champions England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. They’ve shown great resilience and skill in chasing down challenging targets, thanks to their explosive top-order and reliable middle-order. They could pull of an upset against Australia in their next match:
- Afghanistan have shown they have a strong opening pair of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran. They’ve scored 237 and 202 runs respectively in the tournament so far which is nothing to laugh at. They have provided quick starts and put intense pressure on the opposition bowlers with their aggressive stroke play.
- Afghanistan’s middle-order is anchored by captain Hashmatullah Shahidi. He’s been the leading run-scorer for his team with 317 runs at an average of 105.66. He has been unbeaten in the last three wins, scoring two fifties and a hundred. He has also formed crucial partnerships with Rahmat Shah, who has scored three consecutive fifties.
- Afghanistan have a balanced bowling attack, with the spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan leading the way. Mujeeb has taken 11 wickets at an economy rate of 4.62, while Rashid has taken 10 wickets at an economy rate of 5.03. They have troubled the batsmen with their variations and accuracy.
- Afghanistan have the advantage of playing at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, which is known for its high-scoring pitches and short boundaries. They have already played two matches at this venue, scoring 338/6 against Pakistan and 329/7 against Sri Lanka. They’ll be confident of chasing down any target or setting a big total against Australia.
Afghanistan have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain in this match. They have already exceeded expectations by reaching the top four of the points table. They will be motivated to prove themselves against one of the best teams in the world and continue their dream run in the World Cup.
Who to watch: Rahmanullah Gurbaz
Position: Wicketkeeper Batter
Jersey #: 77
The young and explosive batsman is one of the most exciting talents in the Afghanistan team. He has already scored two T20I centuries, including a 45-ball 127 against Ireland in 2020. He can also keep wickets and provide stability to the middle order. He has a strike rate of 144.44 in T20Is and can take on any bowling attack in the world. Watch out for his aggressive hitting and fearless approach in the World Cup.
What do the bookies say?
This game is expected to be a one-sided affair, with the Aussies being the clear favourites to win. Australia are on a bit of a winning streak, while Afghanistan are coming off a few losses. The bookies have reflected this difference in their odds, offering very low returns for backing Australia and very high returns for backing Afghanistan.
As you can see, there is not much variation in the odds, with all of them indicating that Australia has a very high chance of winning. It’s worth remembering that cricket is a game of uncertainties and anything can happen on the day. Who would have thought New Zealand could have lost with 400 on the board. Afghanistan have some talented players who can cause an upset if they perform well. Australia cannot afford to be complacent and will have to play their best cricket to secure a place in the semi-finals.
The Bottom Line
I’m really looking forward to the Aussies’ having a slog in the next World Cup match on November 7th. Both teams have shown impressive performances in the tournament so far., But Australia has a clear edge over Afghanistan with their experience, batting depth and bowling variety. However, Afghanistan has a strong spin attack and a fearless batting approach that can challenge any opponent. The bookies are clealy favouring Australia to win the game, but if you are looking for a risky but rewarding bet, you might want to consider backing Afghanistan to pull off an upset.
Disclaimer: Remember, betting is a form of entertainment, not a source of income, and you should never bet more than you can afford to lose.